On August 9, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that green card applicants are now eligible to apply for a Social Security number (SSN) or replacement Social Security card as part of their Form I-485 application for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. The updated Form I-485 including the fields for the SSN or replacement card request is available on the USCIS website. The prior Form I-485 edition (dated 03/10/21) is accepted until October 12, 2021. Starting October 13, 2021, USCIS will accept only the new version (dated 03/29/21). The filing fee will not increase.
If a green card applicant requests an SSN or replacement card on their Form I-485, USCIS will automatically transmit the necessary data to the Social Security Administration after their LPR status is approved. The Social Security Administration will subsequently assign an SSN and issue the applicant a Social Security card within two weeks after the approval of the Form I-485. Though applicants are not required to request an SSN using Form I-485, they may decide to do so to receive an unrestricted Social Security card, which is an acceptable document to prove legal U.S. employment eligibility. Previously, new permanent residents were required to appear in person at their local Social Security office and submit additional paperwork to obtain an unrestricted Social Security card. This agency partnership and revised Form I-485 will allow applicants to request an unrestricted new or replacement Social Security card without the extra paperwork and in-person visit.